Work Vignette

M: Me
J: Coworker J

J: I need to see a doctor or something.
M: Why?
J: I think I have allergies.
M: I take this over-the-counter stuff, it’s great.
J: What is it? What’s in it?
M: It’s the same stuff as Claratin, Alavert, all of those.
J: I don’t know … I just don’t know about putting that crap in my body.
(J exits to enjoy his half-hourly cigarette break)


What I Didn't Learn

Don’t know why I thought of this, but here ’tis. There are certain things that other people learned in their public schooling career that I just didn’t learn. And some of those things seem to be fairly universal — something that almost everyone has done/learned. It’s not like I had poor attendance and missed the teaching of these items … unless it was all crammed into, say, a single day when I was out sick. Heck, I got an award for excellent attendance. So here’s what I didn’t learn:

Square Dancing: Apparently, everyone learned this in an elementary school gym class. Heck, even my brother, who went through the same school system as I, did a two-week unit on square dancing. However, I never learned it. And knowing it was a two-week unit, I know for certain that I wasn’t out sick and missed it — I never missed more than a couple of days of school. Maybe we had a substitute teacher that two weeks? Maybe they experimented with my class, and opted not to teach it? Nevertheless, I don’t even have a child’s half-grasp of how to Promenade Left and Allemande Right.

Cutting Open Dead Animals: Seems like everyone I know got to dissect a frog, or an earthworm, or some other small animal. Granted, I didn’t take biology in high school (went the chemistry/physics route instead), but it would appear that there was a dissection unit in junior high, somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, that I completely missed. I took science all through junior high, and once again, wasn’t gone for the length of time a dissection unit would take.

Reading “MacBeth”: I guess this was a standard for high school English classes. I did read “Romeo & Juliet”, “Julius Caesar” and “Hamlet”, but never did “MacBeth”. On a similar note, did anyone out there ever get to study an actual fun Shakespeare play in school? Or did we all just get tragedies and histories, instead of a comedy/romance that might actually instill a liking of the bard? On a slightly less similar note, I never read The Catcher in the Rye in school either. However, my mother worked at another high school in the district, and I snagged a copy when they were replacing the old books with new ones. I still have that beat-up ex-school copy.

So now, dear readers … what did you not learn in school that everyone else seems to have learned?

Phrases that should be eliminated

“The Customer is Always Right.”

Asshats galore try to use this one as some sort of universal law. What none of them seem to understand is that this was an advertising slogan for a department store. Saying this phrase is roughly equivalent to claiming, “Coke is it!” In actuality, the customer is frequently wrong, a whiner, and a moron.

“It Never Hurts to Ask.”

Scott and I agree that the only good thing to ever come out of the radio advice show “Rhona at Night” was when Rhona Raskin said, “there’s a certain tyranny to asking questions.” It doesn’t matter how rude or inappropriate the request, if someone says “no”, then they are marked as the rude one. And most of us are uncomfortable saying “no” — you feel guilty for doing it. But the ones who should feel guilty are the ones asking questions that they know deep down inside they shouldn’t be asking.

adding on…

“How Are You?”

Perfectly fine between friends. Absolutely unnecessary and out-of-place between strangers. Cashiers don’t care how I am, they’re just trained to say that. And really, even friends and coworkers for the most part don’t want to hear an honest answer. They want to hear the standardized response of “fine”. Back in my bank teller days, I made it a point to never ask a customer how they were, because I really didn’t care. And I was always amused at how many people would respond to my “hello there” with “fine, thanks”. Ah, so not only are you not listening to what I say to you, but you’re also going with the conversation-stopper of “thanks” on the end of your “fine” instead of the more reciprocal “fine, and you?”

Phrase on, people! What absurd/completely wrong/overused sayings grind on you?

Anonymity ROCKS!

So I was playing some online poker this morning over at Poker Stars. I decided to pop in at a play money table, and doubled my money in the first ten minutes or so.

Then, a charming player by name of “MoneyIsGAY” came into the room, sat down, and put forth the following chat:

MoneyIsGAY: GET THE **** OUT

(please note, swear words are automatically replaced with the appropriate number of asterisks. So I’m guessing I’m a stupid something-harsher-than-bitch-which-is-four-letters-long.)

Never saw the guy before, don’t know what his problem was. Fascinating. He left a couple of minutes later without every playing a hand.

EDIT: for giggles, I searched for him and found him in another room. Here’s what he had to say to the players there, after losing a hand:

MoneyIsGAY: u ****ing luckpiece of ****
MoneyIsGAY: stop ****ing hacking
MoneyIsGAY: u little ****aing *****
MoneyIsGAY: u ****ing piece of **** u dont know me, ill kill u

Whew! Glad to know I’m not the only ****ing **** in town. ;^)

Reality Check

So TiVo, sweet TiVo, didn’t get the last ten minutes of Joe Schmo 2. All of the ads say that it will start at 11:15 on Monday nights … so of course, TiVo records from 11:05 to 12:05. Bad TiVo!

We’ve seen most of the episode … the whole inclusion of Ingrid, the new player Amanda, and so on. But we haven’t seen the wick-lighting ceremony, and we don’t know who gets evicted. So please, no spoilers!

I like what they decided to do with Ingrid, and I think she’ll be up to the challenge of playing along. Despite the actors’ worries that they’re having a hard enough time as “improvisers” … I bet she’ll be better than some of them. Because some of them are pretty poor improvisers. What do you want, a lot of them have in their credits “trained with the Groundlings” … which means they took classes through the Groundlings, but weren’t necessarily fully trained performers. Heck, you could pay one of the local improv companies a small fortune to take their full series of classes and never make it into the group.

You überfans of reality may have noticed that JS2 is using a number of pieces of music from The Mole. I believe they’re both Stone/Stanley properties. I loved the music from The Mole, and have considered buying the soundtrack. So that makes it extra yummy.

Anyhoo, now we have to wait for the Sunday at 8pm repeat to catch that last 10 minutes. SIGH!

Onward to TAR. Scott tells me that the show has already been picked up through another season beyond this one, so maybe we can get off our asses and send in a tape. It would be terrifying, but awesome. And I would totally hug Phil at the end of every leg of the race.

It’s stupid to say how much I love this show. Once again this season, I teared up a little bit when seeing that opening shot of the airplane and hearing the theme song.

After the first episode first impressions, here are my takes on some of the teams:

Linda/Karen (Bowling Moms): These two surprised me. I figured them to be an early out, but they put in a very good first leg. I’m still somewhat Switzerland on whether I like them or not, but they could do well.

Marshall/Lance (Brothers): Well, they’re no Baldies. Instead of being naturally funny fat guys, they’re more naturally mysogynistic-comment-making fat guys. I believe they think those two are one and the same. I have a feeling I’m going to have to put my teamlove somewhere else.

Bob/Joyce (Internet Dating Widowers): Again, surprising. Could they be this season’s Teri and Ian, going the distance? If so, it would appear these two will do it with a lot more support and encouragement of each other.

Kami/Karli (Twin Blondes): Ew. Double Ew. Irritating from the get-go. It was an absolute pleasure to see them walk right by one clue box and have to go back for another. They’re my Heather and Eve, the team I’ll love to hate.

Jim/Marsha (Father/Daughter): 25 stitches in his knee? Holy CRAP! And just like the bowling moms, a good showing in the first leg. I predict that I’ll like them, but they’ll be Philiminated around the halfway point.

Charla/Mirna (Team Gidget): Attitude, ladies! “We’re not going to help anybody unless they help us first”, shortly followed by, “why won’t aaaaanybody heeeeelp us? WAAAAHHH!” I applaud the whole “we’re independent, self-sufficient women” thing, but not if it’s followed by cries about wanting others to help you. I find Mirna, the Slavic-eyed tall one, a lot more irritating and wussier. I believe she’ll actually be the weak link.

Eight Thousand Teams of Beautiful Hetero Couples: As usual, they’re all the same to me at this point. At least one of them got the boot, so there are fewer of them to keep track of. And it really surprised me (and delighted me) to see one of the young, healthy couples get the first boot.

Doing the things a spider can…

Scott and I went and saw Spider-Man 2 today. I will agree with many others, it was a very very good superhero movie. My observations:

I did find the whole middle part of “I don’t want to be a superhero anymore” a bit long. Then again, I’m the person who thought that Pulp Fiction was “too talky, not enough action”.

Tobey Maguire, just like Orlando Bloom, looks like he’s about to cry a lot of the time.

However, Tobey Maguire has a really nice ass.

The preview for Cat Woman looks just awful. The few CG shots they showed were just hideously fake looking.